U.S. Olympic Trials: Ryan Lochte Grabs 200 Back Top Seed

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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 29. RYAN Lochte, who finished second to Aaron Peirsol in this event four years ago, put himself in place for another triumph this week with a top-seeded time in the men's 200 back at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Lochte raced to a 1:57.24 in the final heat to secure the top seed heading into semifinals. The time pushed him to ninth in the world this year, and put him in position to potentially claim his second Trials title of the year. Lochte faced down Michael Phelps on the first night in the men's 400 IM for his first head-to-head win against Phelps in that event in 10 tries. Lochte dominated the 200 back at Worlds last summer, clocking a textile best of 1:52.96 in Shanghai, and is favored in the event this year.

Tyler Clary, who got the Olympic monkey off his back last night with a second-place finish in the 200 fly, seemed to swim a bit more at ease to earn the second seed in 1:57.93. He finished third in the event in 2008 to Peirsol and Lochte, and will now be looking to add a second event to his Olympic slate.

Matt Grevers, who won the 100 back earlier in the week, could be vying for a backstroke double to add a second individual event to his schedule. Ryan Murphy, 16, raced to the fourth seed with a 1:59.03, while Nick Thoman earned fifth in 1:59.24. Rex Tullius (1:59.95) placed sixth in 1:59.95, while Nathaniel Savoy demolished his seed time to move into the top eight with a seventh-place 2:00.15 all the way from heat 7 of 11. Ellis Miller rounded out the top eight with a 2:00.15.

The Semifinalists:
Ryan Lochte — 1:57.24
Tyler Clary — 1:57.93
Matt Grevers — 1:58.90
Ryan Murphy — 1:59.03
Nick Thoman — 1:59.24
Rex Tullius — 1:59.95
Nathaniel Savoy — 2:00.15
Ellis Miller — 2:00.32
Alex Lendrum — 2:00.36
Jacob Pebley — 2:00.61
Alexander Katz — 2:00.66
Cory Chitwood — 2:00.78
Jack Conger — 2:00.90
Connor McDonald — 2:00.90
Joshua Friedel — 2:00.99
David Russell — 2:01.46

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